It's a cloud future for media tech

Neal Romanek
March 1st 2016 at 12:07PM : By Neal Romanek

At last week's BVE show in London, Quantum's Brian Stokes looks at the future of storage - and all he sees are clouds

"We are the storage choice for 40 per cent of the broadcasters," said Quantum's Brian Stokes at last week's BVE show in London, the biggest European media tradeshow outside Amsterdam's IBC. “And some vendors, like EVS and DVS are integrating our StorNext solution with their products.”

But Quantum recognises that the days where every post production house has an air conditioned basement full of servers are drawing to a close, and the company is preparing for a cloud-dominated future.

“You can’t get around it," said Stokes, who is head of StorNext sales, Northern Europe. "The cloud is the direction of things. It’s where the market’s going. Even though sometimes it’s not as cheap as you’d like to think it would be.

"As far as a fully digital workflow, the cloud’s not practical yet. You’re still not going to get the response times you need. But within four or five year’s you’ll see that change."

Stokes notes that the structure of cloud storage will present interesting challenges to companies. The BBC iPlayer for example currently runs off AWS in Ireland. Due to legal requirements, the state broadcaster is required to operate within Great Britain and Ireland, but the geographical location of content will inevitably grow increasingly murky as cloud services expand and data is spread out globally across multiple sites.

“That’s why private cloud is becoming more attractive an option,” he says. “But whatever the configuration, eventually everyone will be going down some cloud route.”